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Orthodox wedding song by singer Addis and Kalkidan

A priest marries a man and a woman in the Eastern Orthodox Church as part of the holy mystery (sacrament) of marriage. The Mystery of Crowning, in which the couple is crowned, is the name of the standard Byzantine Rite wedding liturgy. In a lengthy ceremony that is preceded by a betrothal ceremony, the couple is crowned on both of their heads during the liturgy of the Mystery of Crowning. In the Orthodox Church, divorce is acceptable for a number of reasons. When all efforts to save a marriage have been exhausted, the more common divorce takes place under the pastoral guidance of the spouses’ spiritual director. Remarriage may be an option in these situations, but there is a special ceremony for a second union that includes a penitential component for the dissolution of the first, meaning some of the happier aspects are left out. Orthodoxy allows for a maximum of three marriages, but each divorce calls for a brief period of excommunication. Another type of divorce is referred to as a “hieratic divorce,” which is an action taken with the full support and blessing of the Church for the theosis of the spouses rather than the dissolution of the marriage. This kind of divorce is typically carried out in situations where one or both spouses want to become monastics and can only occur when both parties agree to it.

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